The Vibe: Lateefa bint Maktoum

Emirati artist Lateefa bint Maktoum has helped the UAE’s art scene blossom, founding Tashkeel, a ‘hub for the creative’, in Dubai in 2008, while her own work has been shown worldwide. Here, she talks about her inspirations and her hopes for the future of art in the UAE

When I started working, I turned to artists like Salvador Dalí for inspiration. I was really inspired by the surrealists and the way they worked and mixed colours

I don’t consider myself a photographer – more of a mixed-media artist. I have to paint in order to take pictures and I have to take pictures in order to paint. The two complement each other

The Last Look, Lateefa bint Maktoum
Another of her works: 'The Last Look'

In my early days as an artist it felt like people saw art as a hobby, whereas now it is considered a serious career path. Parents are encouraging their children to major in it

The artists’ community here is strong, we just need it to develop. Artists need to spend more time pushing their work further rather than focus on a few pieces that are successful. Artists must always create, regardless of whether they have an opportunity to exhibit

Tashkeel studio
Tashkeel studio, which has become a creative hub for the UAE’s burgeoning art scene

I like the idea of giving artists a space where they can come and build up their body of work. At Tashkeel we have a lot of students from university and when they come here it allows them to find their own voice without the restrictions of academia

My advice to artists trying to break out would be to always push yourself further than you think you can go. Always be uncomfortable; by that I mean be at the point where you are challenging yourself. It may feel difficult but it will take you further